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Magazine / Topics / Marriage Dating
10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew About Men
When I say I believe women and men are wired differently, you will probably agree to some extent that it is true. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight. Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker recently wrote a fantastic book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. In it, she recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them.
Not long ago, I had the opportunity to interview Shaunti for our radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns. In our discussion, we spoke about ten things guys wish women knew about men. I think you’ll find these ten things fascinating! Even more, I believe that in understanding these issues, you’ll be equipped to lead your relationship to a better place!
###1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected.### Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them, and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them, and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.
###2. A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife.### When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done or said, which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.
###3. Men are often insecure.### Men are afraid that they aren’t cutting it in life — not just at work, but at home in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this but inwardly they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don’t receive this affirmation from their wives, they’ll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.
###4. Men feel the burden of providing for their family.### Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden they’ve chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement, and support.
###5. Men want more sex.### Everyone’s natural response to this is probably, “Duh!” But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their “needs”). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn’s research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man’s sense of feeling loved and desired.
###6. Sex means more than sex.### When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of their lives. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider, and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!
Many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way!
###7. Men struggle with visual temptation.### This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn’t just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most moral husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of “visual rolodex” that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can’t control when these images appear.
###8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic.### True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations and perceive the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands’ confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it’s likely that he’s asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What’s not romantic about that?
###9. Men care about their wife’s appearance.### This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.
###10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them.### This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.
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This article was written by: Jim Burns
7 Ways to Make Your Husband Feel Loved and Desired
Sometimes women inadvertently place all of the intimacy pressure on their man. Society has ingrained stereotypical relationship responsibilities on men, such as asking a woman out on a first date, making the first move, or asking the right woman to marry him. All in all, it is a lot of pressure and can be better balanced if women were a little more proactive. Oftentimes women expect men to show affection and interest; however, for men, that can be overwhelming. Let’s face it; men are human beings too; therefore, it would be beneficial for a relationship if women took more initiative with their husbands.
Since mind readers are figurative creatures, it is important for women to maturely express to their husband when they desire them. Here are a few ways women can make their husbands feel more loved and desired.
Put a little more effort into your appearance.
Does your man like it when you wear a certain dress or outfit? Is there a color that your husband says looks good on you? If so, take the extra time to wear that special outfit or zhoosh up your hair and makeup routine. While physical attraction isn’t the sole priority in a relationship, putting effort into your appearance can show your husband that you care and find him attractive. On the other hand, a woman will feel more confident if she feels put together.
Be enthusiastic and playful.
Men love it when women show enthusiasm and playfulness when setting the mood in the bedroom. Not only will your husband appreciate the adoration, but he will also be happy that he isn’t responsible for initiating the moves.
Society tends to associate pampering predominately with women, but men and women enjoy a nice massage or anything that will alleviate the daily stresses of life. Give your husband a massage, cook him his favorite meal, or draw a bath. The thoughtfulness of reducing his stress level is a genuine way to ease the tensions he’s facing while showing him that you’re in the mood.
Physical intimacy can be as simple as holding hands or a gentle back rub or as direct as a kiss. Consider showing your man that you’re interested in more by showing him physical reassurance of your attraction to him. Even placing your head on his shoulder or your hand on his leg can help your husband see that you’re in the mood for more.
Hearing positive reinforcement is great for the mind, body, and soul. Make an effort to compliment your husband, and don’t force him to fish for affirmations. Remind him why you think he’s attractive or why he’s such a great person. Flattering your husband is a great way to verbally remind your man why you’re with him. Not only will he appreciate the positive words, but it could help him also feel more confident in the bedroom.
Write a note or send him a text message.
Sometimes it can be easier to express yourself with a note or text, and there is no shame in that form of communication. Write or text your feelings to your man and remind him how attracted you are to him and how much you want him. Not only will your husband appreciate your honesty, but he’ll also take the hint and see that you’re in the mood.
Lead him to the bedroom.
While this is a very direct signal, your husband will know exactly what you want – especially if the other subtle suggestions didn’t get his attention. Initiating intimacy can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Your husband will appreciate your forwardness and will be turned on. This action can also be a huge turn-on for your husband if you are usually more introverted with your signaling.
Sexual health and satisfaction are key components of your overall health and well-being. Having a healthy sexual relationship can positively influence a couple’s overall relationship satisfaction and happiness; however, couples need a healthy relationship outside sex to fully thrive. Women in relationships need to show their husbands that they desire them and alleviate the sexual pressure in a relationship and reinforce communication.
Women should continuously communicate with their husbands and ask them directly for suggestions on other ways to show their man love and affection. If their husband knows that they are trying, it can make all the difference in the relationship.
About Angela Guzman
Angela Guzman is a mom and wife. Coffee and the NBA are her love languages. She is an Editor for HarperCollins and contributor for Thrive Global.
Study suggests that feeling sexually desired by one’s partner is more important for men than we think
Gender norms in heterosexual relationships dictate that men are responsible for desiring women and initiating sex while feeling desired themselves is relatively unimportant. But according to a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, the overwhelming majority of men (95%) say that feeling desired by their female partner is important to their sexual experiences, and 88% say there are things their partners can do to help them feel more desired.
Numerous studies have shown that feeling desired is important for women’s sexual arousal. But sexual desire has been much less studied among men, and few studies have explored men’s feelings about being desired by their female partners.
“I started my career researching women’s sexual desire. That’s partially because I am a (cis-gender) woman and was aware of how many factors can impact women’s sexuality. But it was also because when I started studying sexual desire, researchers were only studying women’s sexual desire,” said study author Sarah Hunter Murray, a registered marriage and family therapist who authored the book “Not Always in the Mood: The New Science of Men, Sex, and Relationships.”
“While I didn’t question this at the start of my career, overtime I came to wonder why we were completely ignoring the topic of men’s sexual desire. The assumptions seemed to be: there is nothing to study about men’s desire because men’s desire is simple, straight forward, and surface-level. And I realized I needed to talk to men directly to examine this widely held assumption.”
In light of this gap in the research, study authors Murray and her co-author Lori Brotto asked a sample of 300 men in heterosexual relationships to answer open-ended questions about their sexual desirability.
The men were between the ages of 18 and 65, and the duration of their romantic relationships ranged from 7 months to 45 years. In an online questionnaire, the men were asked how important it was for them to be desired by their partner. They were then asked to describe the things their partner currently does to make them feel desired, and whether there were more things their partner could do to help them feel desired.
The study authors coded the men’s responses and identified common themes. Nearly all the men (95%) indicated that feeling desired by their partner was important to them. The men used different words to express the importance of feeling desired. Most of them (58%) specified that it was “very important” to them, another 20% said it was “extremely important”, and 8% used even stronger terms such as “paramount.”
When the men were asked what their partners were currently doing to make them feel desired, 41% described ways their partners expressed their attraction verbally, 34% mentioned their partners initiating physical touch, 28% mentioned their partners initiating physical activity, and 19% described their partners being enthusiastic/excited during sex.
Next, 88% of men said there were things their partners could do to make them feel more desired. Nearly half of the men (49%) suggested that they wished their partners would be more assertive/dominant during sex. Additionally, 17% wished their partners would initiate sex more often, 15% wanted their partners to clearly communicate their sexual needs and desires, and 14% simply craved more sexual interest from their partners.
Interestingly, when describing things their partners could do to show their sexual desire, many men described actions that were romantic rather than sexual. For example, 18% of the men wanted more romance from their partners, 16% wanted more non-sexual touch, and 19% insinuated they wanted more flirting/teasing from their partners.
“While we tend to believe that men are the ones who ‘do the wanting’ and are the ones to pursue sexual activity and demonstrate desire for their partners, men also want to be desired in return. Men in my study described that they didn’t just want their partner to initiate more sexual activity, they wanted to be romanced,” Murray told PsyPost.
“Examples included having their woman partner rub their feet, give them a kiss in passing, cuddle up to them on the couch, or tell them they looked cute or sexy. The implications for this are, in my opinion, quite large. It not only paints a gentler, more responsive side of men’s sexuality than we typically talk about, it also suggests that we may be getting a lot of things wrong about men’s sexual desire and that we should be thinking more critically about men’s sexuality rather than relying on potentially outdated, harmful assumptions.”
The results run against the notion that feeling sexually desired is not important for men’s sexual experiences. Indeed, only 5% said that feeling desired was not particularly important to them. Themes within the men’s responses also suggested that they wished to feel more desired by their partners and that they wished their partners would take more initiative during sex. The findings may be evidence of a desire from men for more egalitarian sexual experiences where both women and men show desire, initiative, and enthusiasm for sex.
“Social norms about men and women are so very pervasive. We are saturated with very specific messages from a young age and they are reinforced throughout our teenage years and adult life. While we can be critical of these norms as being narrow and outdated, breaking from the norm still takes time and isn’t always as easy as we may wish it to be,” Murray said. “However, I think it can be very rewarding for us to examine whether messages we have received about our sexuality in the past work for us and our relationships now in order to express ourselves in ways that are more honest and authentic.”
The study authors noted that their findings are limited to the experiences of heterosexual men and that it would be insightful for future studies to consider similarities or differences in the ways that men of differing sexualities experience sexual desirability.
“I was particularly interested in how those of us who are raised as and identify as men interact with those of us who were raised as, and identify, as women when it comes to sex. That’s because men and women continue to receive very gender-specific sexual messages and I think it’s fascinating to examine what happens when those widely different messages collide,” Murray explained.
“However, that means that the findings from this study may not be applicable to men who don’t date women or who do but don’t identify as heterosexual. I’m interested to see if we can expand the research on sexual desire to be more inclusive of more sexual orientations as well as trans men.”